The Chelsea High boys and girls indoor track teams opened their 2016-17 dual-meet season last week, with the Lady Red Devils coming away with an exciting 47-41 victory that was decided in the last event, the 4 x 400 relay, and the Red Devils fighting well in a 52-34 loss.
On the girls’ side, Chelsea went up against an Everett squad that numbered over 50 competitors, compared to 24 for the Lady Red Devils.
“The girls knew going into the meet that they would have a tough fight on their hands,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. However, the Lady Red Devils stepped up to the challenge and fought hard for the victory.
Individual winners for Chelsea included junior Martine Simon in the dash, sophomore Jocelyn Poste in the 1000, sophomore Yarid Deras in the mile, sophomore Amanda Dias in the two-mile, and sophomore Masireh Ceesay in the shot-put.
Also contributing valuable points in a meet where every mark on the scoresheet counted were: Sylvia Agywaa (2nd in the hurdles), freshman Isha Osman (3rd in the dash), senior Owliyo Mohamud (2nd in the 300), junior Awa Bajinka (3rd in the 300), freshman Karina Avalos (2nd in the two-mile), and senior captain Alex Martinez (2nd in the shot put).
“Every point mattered in this meet,” noted Martineau.
With the nine individual events completed, Chelsea held a slim 43-41 advantage, which meant that the outcome of the meet came down to the winner-take-all five points in the 4 x 400 relay.
The Chelsea quartet consisted of Poste, Simon, Deras, and Mohamud, who toed the line against an equally-determined foursome of Lady Crimson Tide girls.
However, after a tough battle through most of the race, Chelsea pulled ahead for good thanks to Deras, who opened up some distance from her Everett counterpart in the latter part of the third leg.
“This is not the biggest team we have had in recent years, but they are certainly very talented, with several school records already falling this year,” added Martineau. “Another promising aspect of the team is that we are very young with only three seniors on the roster.”
On the boys’ side the Red Devils fought hard, but came up on the short end of a 52-34 decision.
“As with the girls, numbers are an issue for this year’s squad, with just 20 boys on the team,” said Martineau. “The good news is that each and every member is talented and fights hard. We love this group of boys and will expect great things from them.”
The well-coached Everett squad (whose head coach is Chelsea teacher Anthony Comeiro) took first in every individual event, with the lone victory for Chelsea coming in the 4 x 400 relay where the all-senior team of Nick Ieng, Bryan Rivas, Isaac Colcord, and Adriel Cedano took first.
However, in every other event Chelsea was able to take at least second place and in many cases second and third to keep the meet close.
Among the highlights for the Red Devils were: In the hurdles, Rivas took second and Colcord third; in the dash, Ieng finished second against a very tough Everett sprint crew; Cedano took second in the 300; sophomore Wilfidu Hernandez was the surprise of the day, finishing second in the 600; freshman Badreldin Sidik fought hard to finish second in the 1000 with teammate junior Kevin Umanzor finishing third; junior Jose Leclerc finished second in the mile and sophomore Justin Turner finished third; in the two-mile, freshman Abraham Barientos had a breakthrough race, finishing second; Ieng and Cedano combined to take second and third in the high jump; and Colcord was able to take third in the shotput.
“We are super proud of the way the boys’ team competed in every event,” said Martineau. “We knew this was going to be challenging and the boys did everything they could and came out with an impressive performance. There are a lot of bright spots on this team that will continue to grow.”
The winter break features three meets. Yesterday (Wednesday) Chelsea’s top athletes traveled to the Reggie Lewis Center to compete in the multi-state Boston Holiday Challenge, which features teams from all over New England, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The CHS freshmen and sophomores head to Malden today (Thursday) to compete in the Greater Boston League Freshman/Sophomore meet and tomorrow (Friday) the teams head back to Reggie Lewis for the annual Speed Classic.